|Date of game: 12/7/2014
Recap: Arizona vs. Kansas City
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Another week, another key injury.
This time it was Antonio Cromartie.
The Arizona Cardinals, though, still keep finding ways to win and remain atop the NFC West.
Drew Stanton tossed a go-ahead 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown late in the third quarter and Arizona's defense held off Kansas City in the fourth as the Cardinals edged the Chiefs 17-14 on Sunday.
"This was another typical Cardinal football game," said Arizona coach Bruce Arians. "We played hard and made a mistake or two, but when it comes to second-half football, this team has shown its resiliency."
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce fumbled the ball at the Arizona 16 with 5:23 remaining and the Cardinals drained the ensuing 4:14 off the clock by picking up a pair of first downs.
After Chandler Catanzaro hit the left upright on a 34-yard field goal with 1:09 left, the Chiefs mustered just seven yards before turning the ball over on downs. Alex Smith's short pass to Jason Avant fell incomplete on a 4th- and-15 with 11 ticks on the clock.
Arizona's defense shut out the Chiefs in the second half after surrendering two scores to Jamaal Charles in the opening 30 minutes. He ran for a 63-yard touchdown and caught an 18-yard TD pass.
Smith went 12-of-13 in the first half, but was limited to 14-of-26 efficiency in the second. He threw for 293 yards in all.
"We had some three-and-outs," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid. "We had too many. They did a good job and we couldn't get ourselves in a rhythm."
Kerwynn Williams, elevated from the practice squad to fill in for Andre Ellington, who has a hip injury, carried the ball 19 times for 100 yards.
Stanton had lost two of his last three starts coming in after Carson Palmer was lost for the season with a knee injury during a Week 10 victory over St. Louis. He was 15-of-30 for 239 yards for Arizona (10-3), which remained a game ahead of the Seattle Seahawks for first place in the NFC West. Seattle beat Philadelphia 24-14 on Sunday.
Ball-hawking safety Tyrann Mathieu will miss significant time after fracturing his left thumb and the secondary took another blow with the loss of Cromartie. He hurt his left Achilles during the middle stages of the fourth and had to be carted off the field.
Charles gained 91 yards on 10 totes, while Kelce totaled 110 yards on seven receptions for the Chiefs (7-6), who have dropped three straight on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
Alex Okafor intercepted Smith's pass over the middle intended for Albert Wilson and returned it 26 yards to the Kansas City 42. Stanton fired his 26- yard score on a 3rd-and-18 when Brown broke free on a left seam pattern. Stanton then flipped a two-point conversion to John Carlson to give the Cardinals a 17-14 edge with 3:26 to go in the third.
The Chiefs got the ball back with 6:51 left following a Cardinals three-and- out and Smith hit Kelce down the right sideline for a 29-yard gain. Smith tossed a hitch pass to Kelce to convert a 3rd-and-4, but Arizona safety Deone Bucannon forced a fumble after the 18-yard reception and cornerback Justin Bethel made the recovery.
Earlier, Catanzaro nailed a 44-yard field goal to finish off Arizona's opening drive, but the Chiefs went in front on their third offensive snap of the game.
Charles broke free off right tackle and scampered down the sideline for his 63- yard score. It was the longest run the Cardinals' defense has allowed all season.
The Cardinals drove the ball to the Kansas City 38 on their next touch, but Robert Hughes lost a yard on a 3rd-and-1 and Arizona elected to punt.
Arizona did put up points on its ensuing touch. Rob Housler hauled in a 20- yard reception on a 3rd-and-2 and Stanton hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 5-yard gain on the following 3rd-and-2 to put it in field goal range.
Justin Houston sacked Stanton on a 3rd-and-goal and the Cardinals settled for a 33-yard Catanzaro field goal to cut the deficit to 7-6 midway through the second.
The Chiefs answered on their next march.
Arizona brought an all-out blitz on a 3rd-and-14 and Smith darted through a huge running lane up the middle to pick up 21 yards. The Chiefs then moved the chains on a 3rd-and-20 later in the drive when Dwayne Bowe took in a pass over the middle and hurdled a defender en route to a 22-yard gain.
Charles caught a swing pass in the right flat and cut inside on Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson and linebacker O'Brien Schofield prior to crossing the goal line for an 18-yard score to make it 14-6 with 1:12 to play in the second.
Catanzaro hit the right upright on a 36-yard field goal attempt in the waning seconds of the half.Game Notes
Fitzgerald returned after missing the last two games with a sprained right
knee. He had four catches for 34 yards ... Arizona moved to 7-0 at home this
season ... The Chiefs outgained the Cardinals 390-366 ... Arizona has forced
four turnovers in its last three games after taking the ball away eight times
in its previous three.